Enjoying our region’s lovely gardens
Late spring and early summer are one of the most beautiful and colorful times of the year for area gardens. There are many lovely gardens, both indoors and outdoors, throughout our region you’ll want to check out this time of year.
Here are a few indoor gardens that you can visit year-round, not matter what the weather.
Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, 716-8271584, www.buffalogardens.com. .Open daily 10-5, admission $6. The botanical gardens, located at the entrance of Frederick Law Olmsted designed South Park, consists of 11 greenhouses. The conservatory, based on the famous Crystal Palace in England, first opened in 1900. The most prominent feature is the 67’ palm dome, which contains palms and other tropical fruit trees. Other greenhouses feature flowers and plants from around the world. Seasonal flower displays include the upcoming Celebration of Coleus & Color (June 15-28) a chrysanthemum show in fall, and poinsettias in December.
Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse, 7145 Niagara River Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario, 905-371-0254. www.niagaraparks.com. Admission $5.This greenhouse, located just south of the falls tourist area, features 8 different flower displays throughout the year, as well as tropical plants on display year-round. In June enjoy geraniums and in July and August a variety of summer blooms. Outdoors they have an extensive rose garden, as well as a fragrance garden for the visually impaired.
Lamberton Conservatory, Highland Park, 450 Highland Avenue, Rochester 585-256-4950,. www.monroecounty.gov/parks. Admission $3. Located in Rochester’s Olmsted-designed Highland Park (best known for the Lilac festival in May) the conservatory was originally constructed in 1911 (The deteriorating original structure was torn down and an exact replica reconstructed in the mid-2000’s with modern materials.) It houses a display of seasonal plants, which is changed five times a year, as well as tropical plants.
There are also many landscaped outdoor gardens that one can enjoy this time of year.
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, 2565 Niagara River Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario, www.niagaraparks.com. Free admission to grounds, fee charged for butterfly conservatory. This 99-acre site, located just 10 minutes north of Niagara Falls, features fully accessible, beautiful gardens which are tended to by students attending the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. Gardens include perennials, herbs, vegetables, as well as a rose garden that features over 2,400 roses. Also located on the grounds is the 11,000 square foot climate-controlled butterfly conservatory, which features thousands of tropical butterflies.
JapaneseGardens. Behind the BuffaloHistoryMuseum, 25 Nottingham Terrace, Buffalo. Free admission. This hidden gem, located on 6 acres on DelawarePark’s MirrorLake, just behind the BuffaloHistoryMuseum, was competed in 1974 and renovated several times over the years. This serene garden represents the long friendship between Buffalo and sister city Kanazawa, Japan.
Sonnenberg Gardens 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, 585-394-4922, www.sonnenberg.org. Admission $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students, $1 children 4-12. This 50-acre estate, part of the New York State Parks system, features beautifully restored gardens along with a 40-room 1887 Queen Anne style mansion. Gardens include a Japanese garden, rose garden, blue and white garden, pansy garden, old-fashioned garden, and rock garden, just to name a few. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was the summer home of Frederick Thompson, who was the director of the bank known today as Citibank. One can sample and purchase NY State wines at the adjacent Finger Lakes Wine Center.
Gardens at the George Eastman House, 900 East Avenue, Rochester, 585-271-3361, www.eastmanhouse.org. Admission $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, under 12 free. I’m sure many readers are familiar with the George Eastman house, which houses the International Museum of Photography and Film. Besides being a great museum, it also has beautifully restored and maintained gardens surrounding the 37-room mansion. The gardens have been restored using the original landscape plan, which was designed by noted landscape architect Alling DeForest. The terrace garden has over 90 varieties of perennials, while the west garden features shrubs, perennials, and a variety of ground cover. A rock garden, located in the back of the property, has perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and ground cover, all under a grape arbor. You can visit the rock garden and west garden for free; the rest of the gardens are included with museum admission, with daily tours offered.
Nannen Arboretum28 Parkside Drive, Ellicottville 716-699-2377, www.nannenarboretum.org. Free admission. Since 1976 this 8-acre site has been a place where people can appreciate nature. It includes over 400 trees and shrubs, as well as a Japanese stone meditation garden, herb garden, and a pond known as Lake Nipponica.
Lana’s the Little House, Forestville,716-965-2798, www.lanasthelittlehouse.com. Open daily, year-round, by appointment only. For the past ten years, Lana has been conducting private tours of her storybook cottage home and gardens, as well as hosting afternoon teas and workshops.
4th annual National Garden Festival. www.nationalgardenfestival.com This Buffalo based event runs from June 21 to August 4th. It includes garden walks every weekend, tours, workshops at garden centers, open gardens every Thursday and Friday, and more, including a Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale on June 30th at the Parkside Lodge in Delaware Park. See their website for more information.
Garden Walk Buffalowww.gardenwalkbuffalo.com July 28-29. Garden Walk Buffalo, which is the largest garden walk in America, features almost 400 gardens open for tours. Maps of the gardens will be available online a few weeks before the event.
Upstate Gardeners Journal www.upstategardenersjournal.com 585-538-4980. This guide to everything you want to know about gardening, local gardens, and gardening events is published six times a year. You can get it mailed to you for $15 a year or pick it up free at garden attractions and garden centers.